The different types of AFib episodes
Cardiologists distinct 3 forms of AFib episodes that mainly differs on their duration and frequency:
In this first and sudden episode, AFib comes and goes, and stops on its own.
In the second stage, AFib progresses. It lasts more than a week and can become permanent.
Also called long-term persistent Afib, in the third and most severe stage, AFib progresses until the heart’s normal rhythm cannot be restored.
AFib and its symptoms
AFib tends to be asymptomatic. During its paroxysmal early stage, atrial fibrillation is more difficult to detect, because it might arise during short episodes that cannot be diagnosed. However, common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Fatigue or lack of energy
In most cases, people do not experience those symptoms, and AFib may remain untreated. Doctors might discover it when testing for other conditions.
According to the European Society of Cardiology, one in four people who are 40 years old or over are likely to develop AFib.